Spaniards take to streets as Catalonia independence tensions rise

People attend a demonstration in favour of dialogue in a square in Barcelona, Spain, October 7, 2017.

Meanwhile, protesters dressed in white and called for talks between the Spanish government and Catalonia in order to defuse the country's worst political crisis since the civil war last century.

"I ask strongly that the Spanish government, the national parliament and the head of state [the king] understand that time and the hours are very important to find a debated solution and give way to a political solution", Sanchez said.

"There has to be a commitment to dialogue", Cuixart said.

Experts believe that Catalonia's referendum is "the situation has already caused a serious constitutional crisis" amid no clear timeline for an independence declaration and hesitations. (Prime Minister Mariano) Rajoy is anything but a leader. The Catalan government said it earned the right to split from Spain, claiming 90% of those who voted in Sunday's poll were in favour of independence. They represent some 43 percent of all eligible Catalonian voters.

The farce-cum-referendum had no democratic guarantees whatsoever, the Census was incomplete, the ballot boxes were not transparent, many actually made it to the so-called polling stations full of ballots put there before the day of the referendum by their separatist organisers!

Hundreds of thousands of people are marching in Barcelona to demand Catalonia rejects independence and stays with Spain.

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Another regional government official, Raul Romeva, told BBC radio earlier that Catalonia's parliament would defy a Spanish court ban and go ahead on Monday with a debate that could lead to a declaration of independence from Spain.

Would HRW and AI consider the pro-referendum activists and the high ranking officials in the Catalan government who were arrested by the Spanish police as political prisoners? Spain's third-biggest lender, Caixabank, also may move its headquarters, now in Barcelona, Catalonia's capital, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Thursday. "If there is movement on the Spanish side, then we will wait and see what happens".

"Rajoy, you wuss, defend the nation!" chanted one group of young, mostly-male demonstrators as they marched into Colon Square waving Spanish flags as well as one bearing the francoist Black eagle. The moves so far do not affect jobs or investments but don't send a message of confidence in the Puigdemont government.

It would deprive Spain of about 16 per cent of its people, a fifth of its economic output and more than a quarter of its exports.

The minister also warned Catalans that a parliamentary declaration of independence "is not enough" and that the global community needs to recognize independent nations.

The slogan of the marches- "Shall We Talk?"- was created in an effort to encourage politicians to end months of silence and start negotiations. "We have to listen to them with respect and not with force or blood, like what happened with ETA".

The post Rallies in Barcelona and Madrid call for talks on Catalonia independence appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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